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19 1Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. 2In Jericho there was a man named
Zacchaeus. He was a wealthy, very important tax collector.* 3He wanted to see who
Jesus was. There were many other people that wanted to see Jesus too. Zacchaeus
was too short to see above the people. 4So he ran to a place where he knew Jesus
would come. Then Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus. 5When
Jesus came to that place, Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus in the tree. Jesus
said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry! Come down! I must stay at your house today." 6Then
Zacchaeus came down quickly. He was happy to have Jesus in his house. 7All the people
saw this. They began to complain, "Look at the kind of man Jesus stays with. Zacchaeus
is a sinner!" 8Zacchaeus said to the Lord (Jesus), "I want to do good. I will give
half of my money to the poor. If I have cheated any person, I will pay that person
back four times more!" 9Jesus said, "Today is the day for this family to be saved
[from sin]. Yes, even this [tax collector] is one of God's chosen people* ! 10The
Son of Man* came to find lost people and save them."
Use the Things God Gives You
11Jesus traveled closer to Jerusalem. Some of the people thought that God's kingdom
would come soon. 12Jesus knew the people thought this, so he told them this story:
"A very important man was preparing to go to a country far away to be made a king.
Then the man planned to return home and rule his people. 13So he called ten of his
servants together. He gave a bag of money* to each servant. The man said, 'Do business
with this money until I come back.' 14But the people in the kingdom hated the man.
So the people sent a group to follow the man to the other country. In the other
country, this group said, 'We don't want that man to be our king!' 15"But the man
became king. When he came home, he said, 'Call those servants that have my money.
I want to know how much more money they earned with it.' 16The first servant came
and said, 'Sir, I earned ten bags of money* with the one bag you gave me!' 17The
king said to the servant, 'Fine! You are a good servant. I see that I can trust
you with small things. So now I will let you rule over ten of my cities!' 18The
second servant said, 'Sir, with your one bag of money I earned five bags!' 19The
king said to this servant, 'You can rule over five cities!' 20Then another servant
came in. The servant said to the king, 'Sir, here is your bag of money. I wrapped
it in a piece of cloth and hid it. 21I was afraid of you because you are a hard
man. You even take money that you didn't earn and gather food that you didn't grow!'
22Then the king said to the servant, 'You bad servant! I will use your own words
to condemn you. You said that I am a hard man. You said that I even take money
that I didn't earn and gather food that I didn't grow. 23If that is true, you should
have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came back, my money would have earned
some interest.' 24Then the king said to the men that were watching, 'Take the bag
of money away from this servant and give it to the servant that earned ten bags
of money.' 25The men said to the king, 'But sir, that servant already has ten bags
of money!' 26The king said, 'The person that uses what he has will get more. But
the person that does not use what he has will have everything taken away from him.
27Now where are my enemies? Where are the people that did not want me to be king?
Bring my enemies here and kill them. I will watch them die!'"
Footnotes: tax collector(s) Jews hired by the Romans to collect taxes. They often
cheated, and the other Jews hated them. one of God's chosen people Literally, "a
son of Abraham." Son of Man A name Jesus used for himself. In Dan. 7:13-14, this
is the name for the Messiah, the one God chose to save his people. bag(s) of money
One bag of money was a Greek "mina," enough to pay a person for working three months.
"Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation
Center, Inc. and used by permission."
Old Testament in a Year:
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